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DarkIvy

Worried About Food At School This Year...

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Hey there,

I haven't been around in a while but I've been busy with life/work/etc. Thought I should come back, as I'm really starting to miss the support of others who can relate to being gluten free.

My basic story in a nutshell is that I'm going to be living in a sorority house this year. Food during the week shouldn't be a problem. Our chef is awesome and I've already alerted them to my gluten issues. I'll be able to talk to the chef directly once I get back to school and I should be able to work something out. I'm not overly concerned about that.

What I am concerned about is weekends/evenings/nights out with friends.

On weekends out chef doesn't cook anything, so we're on our own. Most girls just walk a block over to a little area with a couple dozen restaurants or so and buy stuff. I should be allowed to use the kitchen if need be, so I should be okay for the most part. What's really got me down is that I actually like most of the restaurants in said area and am not sure how well I'll handle an entire school year of watching allllllll my sorority sisters eat burritos/pizza/sandwiches/whathaveyou in front of me. Sure, I could pop into the kitchen and make my own sandwich, but it's not quite the same, you know? And what happens when I go out and party, come home, and all my friends order pizza at 1 in the morning? Or worse, the COOKIE restaurant that delivers hot cookies until 3 in the morning???? I'm already struggling to some extent with the foods I miss and can't have anymore, and I'm worried that at some point I'm just going to give up and eat something out of the sake of convenience or just plain missing it.

There are only a couple of restaurants I think I can eat at in said area. There's a sushi bar but it's expensive. If Qdoba emails me back and lets me know what I can or can't have, I may be able to eat there, too. And that's about it. Forget the cookie restaurant, all three sandwhich shops, the three burrito places, the several thai/vietnamese/chinese places, the two pizza parlors, and even the ice cream shops. If cone crumbs get sprinkled over the ice cream I order, I'm screwed.

I just don't want to feel left out. These are places my friends eat every day, the temptation is going to be very real. I don't mind munching on a Larabar in a restaurant once and a while, or trying to scrounge something "safe" off of a menu when need be, but this is going to be the reality for me and I don't want this to become such a huge emotional strain that I freak out/break down/start eating gluten again.

Does anyone have any advice for me? I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.

I'm really pretty bummed.

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Hi Liz,

It sounds really rough. It's hard out-of-school how to figure out these things, in school it must be so much worse.

I had a couple of thoughts . One, check into Thai and Vietamese food. I think there's a number of things that are ok to eat at both for the gluten-free diet. I have a book called Let's Eat Out! Your Passport to Living Gluten and Allergy Free, by Kim Koeller and Robert La France. It's got a whole chapter on Thai, with a sample menu of possible Thai foods and what specifically to check on while ordering. Pad Thai, for example, looks pretty ok. You might go to the restaurants on off-hours and talk to the managers - if you eat there a lot it'll get easier.

My other thought was about stocking the freezer at the sorority house with gluten-free pizzas and cookies. Maybe they'll let you have a toaster oven in your room or the kitchen that's just yours. It can warm up things really fast from frozen. Granted, it's not as good as ordering the pizza, but it won't take any longer, and you'll be eating the same kind of food. Same with the cookies. I'm sure you can get recommendations on the boards for good ones, and even thought they're expensive, so are delivery pizza and, I assume, cookies! Better than making yourself a sandwich, maybe.

A cookie bakery that delivers! Wow.

I wish I had a better solution to offer.

Good luck with everything.

grey

Hey there,

I haven't been around in a while but I've been busy with life/work/etc. Thought I should come back, as I'm really starting to miss the support of others who can relate to being gluten free.

My basic story in a nutshell is that I'm going to be living in a sorority house this year. Food during the week shouldn't be a problem. Our chef is awesome and I've already alerted them to my gluten issues. I'll be able to talk to the chef directly once I get back to school and I should be able to work something out. I'm not overly concerned about that.

What I am concerned about is weekends/evenings/nights out with friends.

On weekends out chef doesn't cook anything, so we're on our own. Most girls just walk a block over to a little area with a couple dozen restaurants or so and buy stuff. I should be allowed to use the kitchen if need be, so I should be okay for the most part. What's really got me down is that I actually like most of the restaurants in said area and am not sure how well I'll handle an entire school year of watching allllllll my sorority sisters eat burritos/pizza/sandwiches/whathaveyou in front of me. Sure, I could pop into the kitchen and make my own sandwich, but it's not quite the same, you know? And what happens when I go out and party, come home, and all my friends order pizza at 1 in the morning? Or worse, the COOKIE restaurant that delivers hot cookies until 3 in the morning???? I'm already struggling to some extent with the foods I miss and can't have anymore, and I'm worried that at some point I'm just going to give up and eat something out of the sake of convenience or just plain missing it.

There are only a couple of restaurants I think I can eat at in said area. There's a sushi bar but it's expensive. If Qdoba emails me back and lets me know what I can or can't have, I may be able to eat there, too. And that's about it. Forget the cookie restaurant, all three sandwhich shops, the three burrito places, the several thai/vietnamese/chinese places, the two pizza parlors, and even the ice cream shops. If cone crumbs get sprinkled over the ice cream I order, I'm screwed.

I just don't want to feel left out. These are places my friends eat every day, the temptation is going to be very real. I don't mind munching on a Larabar in a restaurant once and a while, or trying to scrounge something "safe" off of a menu when need be, but this is going to be the reality for me and I don't want this to become such a huge emotional strain that I freak out/break down/start eating gluten again.

Does anyone have any advice for me? I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.

I'm really pretty bummed.

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Well, I think you have several options. One is to suggest you go to the "safe" restaurants. Although it sounds like you might not have that many options to choose from so everyone might get sick of the one safe restaurant you always want to go to.

Another is to go to the restaurants and bring your own food. I do this all the time. You have to learn to switch your mentality of going out to eat as something you do when you're hungry to something you do to socialize. That way it doesn't matter what you're eating as long as you can spend time with your friends. You can bring a gluten-free substitute for the meal or bring something else yummy.

Another option is to eat at home. You could ask the chef to make some extra during the week so you can freeze it and have leftovers on weekends.

Or you could invite people over and you cook for them. Or just invite people over and ask them to bring a dish-to-pass and you can eat whatever, doesn't have to be what they bring.

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